Huawei’s current rotational CEO, Eric Xu, has been noted explaining that he fails to see the relevance of smartwatches in a world of smartphones. Xu’s comments were picked up by the South China Morning Post, and were reported given in response to questioning during Huawei’s Shenzhen-based Global Analyst Summit 2017, which took place today.
Xu notes that he finds it difficult to understand “what smartwatches are for when we have smartphones” and further reportedly added that he would never wear one himself. According to the information coming through, it is the “tangible needs” (or lack thereof) of a smartwatch that proves the most difficult for Xu to foresee viable demand for smartwatches. With the CEO noting that whenever the Huawei team are excited to present their smartwatch ideas, Xu always questions them on its purpose. Essentially making the point that if it does not offer anything more than what a smartphone offers, then what is the point.
Of course, such comments might come as quite as surprise to some, as Huawei has not one, but two, smartwatches available. Although the latter, the Huawei Watch 2, has yet to officially become available to buy just yet. In either case, the company’s first smartwatch, the Huawei Watch, was an instant hit when it launched in late 2015 and largely due to the Huawei Watch being one of the first smartwatches to come to market offering more of a traditional watch-like look and feel, while still maintaining all the smart features one would expect from such a product. In many ways, it is a device that can be credited with paving the way for the wealth of traditional watch-like smartwatches that are now being announced and coming through, On the other hand though, there is some evidence to suggest that Xu’s thinking on smartwatches is correct, as the general consensus is that smartwatches do not seem to be gaining the level of traction they should be. Which is often thought to be due to a lack of demand at the consumer level. A point which is particularly relevant to Android Wear smartwatches in general, as Samsung and Apple options (which do not run on Android Wear), continue to sell well and are clearly the dominating products within this emerging market.